Diabetes is the name for a condition suffered by a person whose body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin. Insulin reduces the amount of sugar in the blood. If diabetes goes untreated, sugar levels will climb dangerously high.
|Produces little or no insulin so has to inject themselves with insulin in order to keep sugar levels controlled.|
|Still produces insulin naturally, so can control the condition by reducing the amount of sugar that they eat.|
|High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycaemia)||Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycaemia)|
|Onset||Slow – 12-48 hours||Fast – 2minutes – 1 hour|
|Levels of Response||Slow deterioration
Drowsy, lethargic behavior
Unconsciousness if left untreated
Confusion, memory loss
Lack of co-ordination, slurred speech
Bizzare, uncharacteristic, potentially violent
Unconsciousness within an hour
|Skin||Dry and warm||Pale, cold and sweaty|
|Breathing||Deep sighing breaths||Normal, or shallow and rapid|
So what can I do?
High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycaemia):
- Arrange for the person to attend A&E or a Doctor ASAP
- If the casualty becomes unconscious, call 999
Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycaemia):
If they are conscious:
- Give them a sugary drink and some carbohydrate based food, like a sandwich (it is important to not just give a quick boost, but also a long term boost)
- If they have specialised ‘Glucose Gel’ assist them in taking it (rubbing into the gums and cheeks works well, rather than swallowing)
- Stay with the casualty and let them rest
- If there isn’t an improvement within 10-15 minutes consider calling 999
- Think! Is there another cause of these symptoms?
If they are unconscious:
- Open the airway and check for breathing
- Place the casualty in the recovery position
- Call 999 immediately
Want to know more? Attend a training course which covers this topic:
|QA Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work (QCF)|
|QA Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid At Work (QCF)|
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